What To Consider When Using Shredded Brisket For Barbecue Beef Sandwiches

There's a beautiful appeal to a meat-packed, flavorful, albeit slightly sloppy barbecue sandwich. While a topping-filled BBQ pulled pork sandwich is the best-known example of the barbecue sandwich, a rendition of the dish with beef is a great call, too. However, the question arises: What's the best cut to employ for the job?

After all, many parts of beef are typically served in large slices to retain structure, including barbecue's beloved smoked brisket. For some slow-cooking enthusiasts — like the BBQ Reddit community — shredding away this creation into a sandwich is an upsetting, and wasteful move. Indeed, most recipes for shredded beef call for chuck roast, favoring the cut's fat and collagen content, delicious flavor and affordability. However, that's not to say you can't use shredded brisket for barbecue beef sandwiches; there are just a few things to consider.

Employ fattier parts of the brisket cut for the tastiest beef sandwiches

While whole brisket is the more widely known example, there are established barbecue recipes that shred the cut. You'll see the meat separated in Texan slow-cooking, where beef is paired with flavors like soda — especially Coca-Cola — as well as Worcestershire sauce, various pepper seasonings, and sometimes coffee. Shredded brisket pairs well with bold flavors, so don't be afraid to slow-cook brisket with aromatic ingredients. And while filling the meat into a sandwich is a common move, Texans enjoy the beef with tortillas, too.

Of course, it's hard to beat brisket that comes off of a smoker, but there are options for slow-cooker brisket, too. As opposed to chuck, the cut will require a few less hours, although a leaner brisket, the flat cut, will turn out a bit drier. To avoid this, be sure to use brisket from the point region of the cut. This section has more fat, tissue, and flavor, making it an ideal shredding candidate. 

And regardless of which cut you use, it's a time-consuming endeavor — a slow cooker brisket recipe requires six hours of patient cooking. However, once it's done and chopped, the result is worthwhile; once you try the barbecue beef sandwich, you'll add it into frequent rotation.